Sleeping Pills Vs Melatonin Sleeping Aids

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Insomnia is one of the problems this modern generation faces. A good night’s sleep seems to be a treasure nowadays.

And often, people turn to medicines to get their sleep. Some go for the usual sleeping pills, and some go for more natural sleeping aids like melatonin supplements.

But what’s the difference between these sleep helpers, and are there advantages of one over the other?

In this short read, you’ll understand the differences between sleeping pills and melatonin and sleeping aids. And you can pick which one is best for you.

Let’s dive in!

The Difference Between Sleeping Pills and Melatonin Sleeping Aids

There are different kinds of drugs in the market to address sleeping problems. 

The two most commonly known are sleeping pills and sleeping aids. 

Before taking any of these, you should get to know their differences. This will help you determine which would fit your preference and help you deal with insomnia.

Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills are generally categorized as “sedative hypnotics.” This kind of drug basically is used to get you to sleep or stay asleep. 

Most medications for sleeping pills are prescribed for short-term treatment. It is usually advised to be used for 2 weeks up to 2 months. 

This is because when taken for a longer period, the effectiveness usually wears off. You can quickly develop a tolerance to these drugs.

With that, you will need to have a higher dosage prescribed to have the pill take effect on you.

What’s great about sleeping pills is that they are very effective for a moment. However, a downside while taking them is that you may feel a “drugged” effect when you wake up. 

One thing more, sleeping pills may have a longer “half-life” effect on your body. This means that the drug may stay in the body’s system longer than expected.

But, if you wish to get to sleep fast, sleeping pills are your go-to medication. Just make sure to ask your doctor first about the best one for you.

And ensure to follow the prescription’s instructions because not doing so can lead to abuse and even addiction.


It is a hormone that every one of us has. Melatonin is found in the brain which is produced in the pineal gland. 

This hormone is in charge of our body’s fight-or-flight mechanism. This means it’s in charge of your body to know if it’s time to sleep or wake up.

Our bodies normally make melatonin at night. But some factors may disrupt production and affect our functioning.

Imbalanced levels of this hormone could lead to difficulties and problems such as insomnia. 

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Because of that, people who are suffering from sleeping disorders turn to alternatives like taking melatonin supplements. 

This supplement is best for your body to keep up with normal functioning and deal with your sleep problems.

And the good thing about melatonin sleeping aids is that it is natural and won’t get you addicted.

What to choose—Sleeping Pills or Melatonin Sleeping Aids?

Let’s identify which one will work well with you and will get the marks on your checklist.

Here are 4 factors to consider.


You may be critical of what you put in your body, especially in this age of chemicals and synthetic materials in medications and food. 

Generally, medicines are made in laboratories. However, with technology today, natural options are possible. 

Sleeping pills can be either over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

OTC sleep pills usually contain antihistamines. This is an anti-allergy drug that can make you drowsy.

Prescription pills, on the other hand, are more potent than OTC ones. 

Such prescription sleeping pills are 

  • Antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Z-drugs

Now, if you prefer a much more natural option, melatonin sleep aids may be the right one for you. It has become popular throughout the years.

Melatonin supplements are available in natural or synthetic forms. They can be in the form of pills, chewable, or liquids.


Sleeping pills work best as a quick resolution for sleep problems. It is recommended for short-term use. 

But when taking sleeping pills it is best to consider asking your doctor about the suitable dosage for you to avoid overdosage and the risks of it. 

Overdosage may lead to organ problems and, much worse, death. 

On the other hand, melatonin is suggested to be safe to take every night. 

However, long-term usage is also not advised.

Taking melatonin supplements can increase your blood melatonin levels up to 20 times or more than usual if you aren’t careful.

You can always consult your doctor if you need to take it for a more extended period. 

Nutritional supplements

Side Effects

Too much of anything is never good. And when it comes to drugs, it can even be risky or life-threatening.

So, like most medications, sleeping pills also have side effects you need to know. Basically, the effects may vary.

But here are some of the side effects you may experience when taking sleeping pills:

  • Tingling sensation in hands, feet, arms, or legs
  • Change in appetite
  • Drowsiness during the day
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Gas
  • Mental impairment the next day
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty paying attention

As for melatonin supplements, with the increase in your bloodstream, you can get side effects such as:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

Benefits and Effectivity

Both medications are your essential remedy if you need to deal with your insomnia quickly.

Taking sleeping pills will definitely help you fast with your desire to have a good night’s sleep. You won’t be needing to toss and tumble yourself before you get the slumber you’ve been looking for.

Also, melatonin is great for getting the ZZZs that you need. Not only is it safer because of its natural components, but the effect is also outright.

Melatonin can be used not only treating sleeping disorders but for these conditions:

  • Jetlag
  • Shift work disorder
  • Behavioral disorders in children
  • Before and after surgery anxiety treatment

Your Best Insomnia Remedy

So, now that you have a better understanding of sleeping pills and melatonin sleep aids, you can choose which is best for you.

Accordingly, it will depend on your preference. And surely you would take into consideration the long-term effect of what you put in your body.